Insurance agency marketing tips for September

In our second monthly marketing hacks post, we're bringing you three timely tools, tactics and techniques that will help with insurance agency marketing, helping you grow your business.

Branding your agency

Warning: branding is never a "once and done" strategy, but an ongoing process. It starts with taking the temperature of your employees, clients, carriers, business partners and program administrators such as Arrowhead. How do these groups view you? If they had to describe you in one or two words, what would it be? From there you go on to define your brand to each of these audiences and determine how you will consistently, over time, communicate your brand to your groups.

And did we say that your brand is NOT your logo? It's not. Yes, it includes your logo, but it's so much more: your reputation. To your customer, who's obviously your main audience, it is your promise as to what they can expect from your agency and how you differ from the guy down the block.

Defining your brand is a journey of business self-discovery that requires you to answer these basic questions:

  • What's your agency's mission? (Hint: It's not to sell insurance and make money.)
  • What are the features and benefits of working with you?
  • What do your customers and prospects already think of your agency?
  • What qualities do you want them to associate with your agency?

As Arrowhead grows, adding more programs nationwide, we're in the process of rethinking our own brand strategy and deciding where we want to go from here. Creating your brand strategy can be time-consuming and difficult. It's a process, not a quick fix.

Related: Insurance producer marketing tips to see and be seen

From there, you want to begin building brand equity, which is a fancy way of saying grow your brand, so that it's better known in your marketplace. Do this by

  • Creating a great logo that doesn't look anything like your competitors. Don't go cheap on this step and have your nephew who's a first-year graphic design student do it for you. Now use that logo everywhere. Your designer can create email signatures, letterhead, business cards and provide a full slate of logos for print and digital marketing.
  • Determining your brand's message. What key messages do you want your audiences to know about your agency? Is it your service, your top-rated carriers, your insurance expertise, the fact that you're trustworthy and have been in place for more than 20 years? Use that messaging on your website, on-hold messaging, your social media pages...everywhere.
  • Distilling that message into a tagline: a concise, 3-8 word statement that you use in conjunction with your logo. Keep it short and sweet - and unique.
  • Be consistent. Support your brand in everything you do, from keeping your logo intact (not adding new colors, fonts, stretching or condensing it) to supporting your tagline in every message, whether it's a Little League ad, Google AdWords or your own website.

 

Where to go when you need insurance agency marketing help

When you have a marketing conundrum, where do you go to get the help you need? If you're like most of us - even us marketers - you Google it. And that's a good place to start. Take a look at such sites as Hubspot.com, MarketingProfs.com and Entrepreneur.com. This, too, is not a once-and-done prospect, because marketing tactics are changing at the speed of light. What worked three years ago is likely a bit outdated, because the big guys - Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and others - are always making updates and changing up the game. So staying on top of new marketing tactics with a quick read at least once a week is vital.

What if you can't find the answer you need? Try joining LinkedIn marketing groups where members post resources and share expertise, or various marketing forums. There you can ask a specific question and get answers. We suggest posting your question in at least two spots so that you get a more well-rounded answer.

Related: Nail 3 new marketing skills to grow your book of business

Need help on a specific project, such as a logo or website redesign? Check with your various networking groups. Not only will you get some good recommendations, you may be able to find a freelancer or small agency who's willing to barter for a portion of your project. If an agency's pricing is too high, ask them for recommendations for freelancers who can do it for less. They often will help you out.

For smaller projects, check out college marketing and communications departments. Many students would love a paid opportunity to add to their portfolios and practical work experience. It just takes a quick email to professors or instructors for their recommendation. You may want to ask the instructor to review student results for a small fee, assuring you that the work is solid quality.

 

New Facebook page design

Facebook announced last month that their new design is now available on all pages. That makes now a perfect time to take a fresh look at your page. Here are five tips from Facebook guru Mari Smith  for ensuring your business page is looking good:

  • Cover image. With the new design, your profile photo no longer hides part of your cover image (the wide banner up top), giving you more versatility. With that in mind, is it time for a cover image re-do? Facebook says 851 x 315 size loads fastest.
  • Call to action button. It’s more prominent now, particularly on mobile, so check to make sure the button links to where you want it to go. You can monitor clicks via your Insights to see how well it’s working.
  • Tabs. They’re in a new place – in the left column – so make sure they’re in the order you want them in. To change the order, click the Manage Tabs button at the bottom of the tab list then drag and drop. A few users have discovered tabs that were inactive are suddenly active again, so check! To remove or edit third party apps, go to Settings > Apps, then click the settings for each one and review.
  • Sections. These have moved to the right column. Again, check for accuracy; you can also change the order. Just hover over any section to make the edit pencil appear > click the pencil icon > click Manage Sections. Drag and drop into the order you choose.
  • Now that you’ve made changes, view your page as a Visitor, not Page Administrator. That way you’re seeing what everyone else sees when they visit your page – and you may decide to make additional edits.

 

Related: Digital insurance marketing helps for insurance agencies and producers

 

Additional sources: 

Introduction to Brand Strategy: 7 Essentials for a Strong Company Brand
The Basics of Branding   
How to Get Marketing Help When You Need It 
Hire Marketing Professionals to Help Advertise Your Small Business